Carrefour d'échanges 2010 (FSEDU) : M. Hashash - Student-Teacher Interaction in the Elementary Public Schools in Lebanon: A Symbolic Interactionist Perspective
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Carrefour d'échanges 2010 (FSEDU) : M. Hashash - Student-Teacher Interaction in the Elementary Public Schools in Lebanon: A Symbolic Interactionist Perspective






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Carrefour d'échanges 2010 (FSEDU) : M. Hashash - Student-Teacher Interaction in the Elementary Public Schools in Lebanon: A Symbolic Interactionist Perspective Carrefour d'échanges 2010 (FSEDU) : M. Hashash - Student-Teacher Interaction in the Elementary Public Schools in Lebanon: A Symbolic Interactionist Perspective Presentation Transcript

  • Student-Teacher Interaction in the Elementary Public Schools in Lebanon: A Symbolic Interactionist Perspective By: Mona Hashash January 22, 2010 under the direction of Dr. Kamal Abouchedid and the co-direction of Dr. Suzanne Abourjeily
  • objectives
    • Exploring the patterns of student-teacher interaction in elementary public schools along three dimensions:
    • - teachers’ expectations for student academic and social achievement,
    • -teachers’ feedback to students in class,
    • - teachers’ use of students’ ideas
    • Exploring whether classroom environment as perceived by the students has any relationship with their attitude toward school.
  • Theoretical framework
    • The number of references I used in this research for:
    • the review of literature: 62 resources
    • the research methods: 10 resources
    • the methodology: 6 resources
    • the philosophical orientations: 19 resources
  • Source:(Cohen, Pickeral, & McCloskey, 2009; Cohen, 2007 ) Dimensions of Classroom Environment
  • The variables used in this research are:
  • Theoretical framework cont’d
    • The literature revealed that:
    • supportive student-teacher relationships have a positive effect on student achievement and on their attitude toward their school.
    • learning outcomes and student attitudes towards learning are closely linked to the classroom environment
    • Booth and Sheehan (2008):11-to-12 year-old students’ happiness in school is most influenced by their peers, followed by the relationship with teachers.
    • Hallinan (2008): students who perceive that their teachers care about them, respect them and praise them are more apt to like school than are those who do not.
    Theoretical framework cont’d
    • teachers can accord different levels of expectations to different students depending on the way they perceive the strength of their relationship with the students or depending on other factors, and students can easily detect these expectations through their teachers’ practices and feedback in class.
    Theoretical framework cont’d
    • teachers with students’ lowered expectations tend to give them less wait-time to answer a question
    • the content of the feedback is important in addition to the way and the time this feedback is delivered
    Theoretical framework cont’d
    • to have an effective social and emotional classroom environment, students need opportunities to receive feedback and reinforcement
    Theoretical framework cont’d
    • When students are satisfied with their school experiences they will have a strong sense of belonging to their schools.
    • “about a third to a half of everything people report about their behavior is not true” (Bernard, 2002, p.85)
    Theoretical framework cont’d
    • In the elementary public schools in Lebanon:
    • weak relations among students, teachers, administration, and parents (National Educational Strategy in Lebanon, 2006).
    • no studies on the nature, causes and effects of the weak relations found.
  • in Lebanon cont’d
    • TIMSS 2003 report: Lebanon as the second from last among the 8 lowest countries on the list in the perceptions of teachers of how healthy the school climate is.
    • How do students’ perceptions of their teachers’ social and academic expectations of them relate to their attitude toward the school?
    • How do students’ perceptions of their teachers’ verbal and nonverbal feedback relate to their attitude toward the school?
    • How do students’ perceptions of their teachers’ use of their ideas in class relate to their attitude toward the school?
    Research questions
    • How do teachers’ accounts of their own practices in class conform to the students’ perceptions of these practices and to the researcher’s observations?
    • Are there any inter patterns of communication common to all or some of the public schools chosen in this study, and why?
    Research questions cont’d
  • Hypotheses
    • The teachers’ expectations for student academic and social success influence the students’ attitude toward school.
    • The nature of teachers’ feedback to students in class influences their attitude toward school.
  • Hypotheses cont’d
    • The extent to which teachers make use of their students’ ideas in class influences their students’ attitude toward school.
    • There exists a difference between the way teachers view their own practices in class and the way students and outside observers perceive these practices.
  • Hypotheses cont’d
    • There is no significant difference in the patterns of student-teacher interaction along the dimensions chosen, and in the attitudes of students toward school among the schools selected in this study.
  • Pre-pilot study
    • I- The Teachers (Statistical Yearbook, 2006-2007)
    • recruitment (on tenure 69.5%, on contractual basis 27.9%)
    • qualifications (21.7% Bacc II / equivalent. 39.1% BA. BS)
    • age (32% 51 yrs. and above)
    • distribution (44 schools with 2 to 25 students)
  • Pre-pilot study/ teachers cont’d
    • teachers interviewed:
    • 10 elementary public school teachers
    • in schools in Beirut and Mount Lebanon
    • 6 hold a university degree but not in education
    • 5 have more than 5 years of teaching experience
    • 7 have received educational training or attended workshops at least once
  • Pre-pilot study/ teachers cont’d
    • What made you enter the teaching profession in public schools?
    9 10 6 7 6 4 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 summer salary benefits easy job monthly income female job flexible schedule
  • Reason for teaching in public schools quotes Benefits
    • “ tenure provides some security”
    • “ working in the public sector has always been financially rewarding on the long run“
    • “ nothing is lost with the government”
    Summer salary
    • “ I get paid while staying at home”
    Monthly income
    • “ I always have cash in my hand’
    • “ I consider my salary as pocket money”
    • “ even when our salaries are delayed the amount becomes bigger”
    Female job
    • “ it’s the cleanest job for a female’
    • “ the vacations conform to our kids’”
    Easy job
    • “ students get easily scared! A single voice and they are all quiet!”
    Flexible schedule
    • ‘ I can go to work and come back whenever I want provided there is someone to cover up for me”.
    • “ we fit our schedules to our own convenience”
  • Pre-pilot study/ teachers cont’d
    • What are the frequently encountered problems in your schools?
  • Problems most frequently encountered quotes Discipline problems
    • “ we have classes which keep popping up like popcorn”
    • “ very often things are beyond the capacity of an individual teacher”
    • “ I spend most of the class time trying to calm them down”
    Emotional distance
    • “ some are strangely quiet, shy and withdrawn, just breathing air”.
    • “ as if they are living inside a bubble”
    • “ I don’t know how to deal with them or how to approach them”
    Defying students
    • “ they are not concerned with our presence”
    • “ they don’t follow directions, as if we are not talking to them”
    • “ all what you study in education is mere theories and can not be applied with these students”
    • “ some simply look at me and continue misbehaving, others don’t even bother to look”
  • Problems most frequently encountered quotes Uninterested students
    • “ these students don’t take school seriously”
    • “ they don’t understand why they should listen or do their homework”
    • “ in every class you can find one or two students who really want to learn”
    Foul language
    • “ not only students use obscene words, but also teachers”
    • “ sometimes I use demeaning words because this is how they understand”
    • “ being polite doesn’t work with them”
  • Pre-pilot study/ teachers cont’d
    • In your opinion what are the causes of these problems?
  • Causes of problems quotes home environment
    • “ it’s the way they have been raised”
    • “ their parents are careless themselves”
    • “ their parents don’t care, why should we?”
    • “ I am not here to raise them instead of their parents”
    punitive measures in school
    • “ floor supervisors always carry sticks in their hands threatening the students”
    • “ I even use the stick sometimes”
    • “ at the same time, do you know what really keeps them on their toes? Being beaten! Believe me, it has proven to be very effective”
    automatic class promotion
    • “ the most serious cases are found in grade 4 and up because students are not entitled to fail classes, so they get away with everything”
    Student biological make-up
    • “ I don’t know but most if not all of them need psychological help”
  • Pre-pilot study/ teachers cont’d
    • How do you usually handle the problems you face?
    • “ I’m always screaming in class and some teachers burst into tears”
    • “ I leave the classroom because it makes no difference for them whether I’m in class or not”
    • “ I stop instruction, and wait till the bell rings. After all I’m not willing to lose my voice and temper for their sake”
    • “ I do my job and continue instruction. I focus on two or three students who really want to learn”
    • “ I get outside help and I don’t care what happens to them. Very often I can’t control them and a terrible headache starts banging my head”
  • Pre-pilot study/ students
    • II- The Students (Statistical Yearbook, 2006-2007)
    • poor
    • sometimes non-Lebanese
    • 35% aged more than their normal class age
  • Pre-pilot study/ students cont’d
    • “ many teachers do not really explain anything, some keep talking about themselves leaving the assigned book untouched”
    • “ sometimes we feel that our teachers do not value us. It’s not a nice feeling”
    • “ sometimes I give a silly answer to a very easy question and sometimes I say nonsense just to have fun!”
    • “ the teacher talks and I daydream or I talk with others”
    • “ some students are really annoying and drive the teacher crazy”
    • “ shouting most of the time doesn’t work nor does hitting students with a stick, or referring them to the supervisor’s office”
  • Pre-pilot study/ students cont’d
    • “ sometimes teachers enter the class frowning and angry before the students do anything depending on what happened with them at home!”
    • “ we need teachers who do not yell and punish”
    • “ I love many teachers because they tell us at the end of the school year: “The mere fact that we shouted at you does not mean that we don’t love you”
    • “ some teachers play football with us during recess, and help us get out of trouble with the supervisor”
    • “ we had a teacher who would shout the moment he enters the classroom: “silence, discipline, studying!” then he would start to talk about whatever comes to his mind provided it is not related to the curriculum”
  • Pre-pilot study/ outsider view
    • III- An Outsider View
    • “ teachers are yelling across the corridors even louder than the students themselves”
    • “ a common scene you would see is: unsupervised students left alone in classes, fighting, shouting, banging on the desks and, most importantly, risking to hurt each others”
    • “ the teachers are either very permissive or harshly severe without credibility”
    • ‘ the students are constantly afraid of being beaten and wouldn’t hesitate to put a classmate into trouble and lie just to save themselves”
    • “ the problem is that the students never understand why they are punished “
  • Pre-pilot study/ outsider view cont’d
    • “ one student said: everybody here expects us to misbehave, so we misbehave!”
    • “ these students are regarded as street kids who are not aware of their limits and who don’t take ‘no’ for an answer”
    • “ I saw a teacher who left the classroom where she was supposed to substitute to smoke a cigarette leaving the students to fight fiercely behind her, and another who enters the classroom with a cigarette in her hand”
    • “ most public school teachers are not up to the challenge because of the recruitment of a high percentage of unqualified teachers by “wasta’ “
    • “ teachers perform in classes by trial and error”
  • Rational for research methodology
    • I-The multiple case study design (Yin,1993,1994,2003; de Vaus, 2007)
    • investigate real life events in natural settings
    • represent more compelling evidence
    • the relevant behaviors cannot be manipulated
    • answer ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions
    • are essential for inductive purposes: deductive vs. inductive logic
    • theory building vs. theory testing
    • possibility for replication: literal replication vs. theoretical replication (cross-case comparisons)
    • exploratory, correlational and explanatory
    The multiple case study design cont’d
    • II- Symbolic interactionism: Grounded theorizing (Mead, Dewey, Blumer, Corbin & Strauss)
    • meanings are central, not fixed
    • meanings emerge through interaction
    • meaning are derived through interpretation.
  • Symbolic interactionism: Grounded theorizing cont’d
    • Interpretation : researcher’s understanding of the events as related by participants
    • generating grounded descriptions vs. testing pre-set theories
    • people sharing common circumstances experience shared meanings.
    • III- Philosophical orientations
    • naturalistic, interpretative approaches:
    • watching, listening, asking and collecting relevant information.
    • Understanding practices from within
  • Philosophical orientations
    • Constructivist approaches (Ausubel, Piaget, Bandura, Vygotsky)
    • meanings are interpreted and understood within social groups.
    • personal construction of meanings
  • Philosophical orientations
    • The social cognitive theory (Bandura)
    • Students do not passively receive knowledge
    • Students construct new ideas based upon current and past knowledge
  • Selection of sites
    • there are 190 public schools distributed on the different educational districts in Beirut and the suburbs (The School Directory for General Education, 2006-2007)
  • Subject selection
    • All grade 6 students and teachers in 5 selected schools will be our respondents in this study.
  • Research methods
    • Mixture of qualitative and quantitative methods.
    • Qualitative: class observations and interviews (teachers)
    • Quantitative: questionnaires (students)
  • Research methods cont’d
    • Why qualitative methods?
    • personal nature of research
    • gain understanding through language and communication
    • show why participants behave in certain ways
    • explore inconsistencies and conflicts in beliefs and behaviors.
  • Research methods cont’d
    • Why quantitative methods?
    • facilitate cross-case comparisons
    • provide more validity for the research
  • Data collection
    • semi- structured interviews with the teachers
    • the social and academic expectations for students
    • the feedback they provide them
    • their use of students’ ideas.
    • from half an hour to one hour.
    • interview guide
  • Data collection cont’d
    • Observation of teachers for two class periods during instruction
    • to check for consistency between what is said and what is practiced (reported and observed).
  • Data collection cont’d
    • whether feedback is:
    • verbal or non-verbal
    • positive or negative
    • for academic tasks or for social tasks
    • a brief description of the feedback delivered.
    • The extent of use of students’ ideas 
  • Data collection cont’d
    • semi-structured questionnaires to students
    • the way they perceive their teachers’ feedback
    • the way they perceive their teachers’ expectations for them
    • the extent to which their teachers use their ideas
    • their attitude toward school
  • Data collection cont’d
    • Combining methods in a single study is becoming a more common practice because of the limitations of using only one approach to fully address all aspects of a research question ( Zweck and Pentland, 2008, p. 116)
  • Content analysis
    • Data about expectations:
    • High, medium, low
    • Data about delivery of feedback:
    • negative, positive
    • Data about use of students’ ideas:
    • frequent, sometimes, rarely
  • Convergence of evidence in individual cases
    • Interviews with teachers
    • (semi-structured)
    Facts about each school Observations of teachers (direct & non-participant) Questionnaires to students (open & closed ended) Students’ feelings toward the school
  • triangulation
    • “ When you have really triangulated the data, the events or facts of the case study have been supported by more than a single source of evidence; when you have used multiple sources but not actually triangulated the data, you typically have analyzed each source of evidence separately and have compared the conclusions from the different analyses-but not triangulated the data” (Yin, 2003,p.99).
  • replication
    • “Each case’s conclusions are considered to be the information needing replication by other individual cases” (Yin, 2003, p.50)
    • Literal vs. theoretical replication
  • Analyzing field notes
    • Within-case analysis
    • Common format to facilitate cross-case analysis
    • Cross-site search for patterns
    • *remain open to as many theoretical directions as conceivable
  • Case study method Develop theory Design data collection protocol Select cases Develop policy implications Write cross-case report Conduct remaining case studies Conduct 2 nd case study Conduct 1 st case study Write individual case report Write individual case reports Modify theory Write individual case report Draw cross-case conclusions Source: Yin, 2003, p.50
  • Methodological issues
    • research designs should be internally valid and externally valid , should produce reliable results and should be amenable to replication .
    • However, case study designs are often seen to be “deficient in all these areas” (de Vaus, 2007, p.233)
  • Methodological issues cont’d
    • Internal validity
    • during data analysis: some other factors may have influenced the students’ feelings toward school
    • solution: grounded theorizing
    • “elsewhere syndrome”, “rival explanations”.
  • Methodological issues cont’d
    • 2. External validity
    • during the design phase: the extent to which results from a study can be generalized beyond the immediate case study.
    • solution: replication (literal vs. theoretical)
    • hard to achieve in natural settings (Wiersma& Jurs, 2009)
    • solution : enhancing reliability
  • Methodological issues cont’d
    • 3. Reliability
    • if it’s repeated by another researcher and still reaches similar results
    • solution: triangulation
    • case-study protocol
    • case study database
  • Methodological issues cont’d
    • 4. Construct validity
    • To determine whether the constructs of interest and hypotheses are suitable or need to be modified.
    • Condition achieved
  • Methodological issues cont’d Tests Case Study Tactic Phase of research in which tactic occurs Construct validity
    • use multiple sources of evidence*
    • establish chain of evidence
    • have key informants review draft case study report
    • data collection
    • data collection
    • composition
    Internal validity
    • do pattern- matching*
    • do explanation-building*
    • address rival explanations
    • use logic models
    • data analysis
    • data analysis
    • data analysis
    • data analysis
    External validity
    • use theory in single-case studies
    • use replication logic in multiple-case studies*
    • research design
    • research design
    • use case study protocol*
    • develop case study database*
    • data collection
    • data collection
  • Reporting the data
    • Final written report including:
    • brief chapters for individual cases
    • one chapter for each cross-case issue for comparison purposes
  • Limitations of the study
    • incapacity to cover all factors contributing to school environment
    • threats to internal validity: incapacity to eliminate competing explanations
    • difficulty measuring attitudes and feelings
    • solution: multiple related ,and open-ended questions
  • Contribution to knowledge
    • This research:
    • provides insight for educators and decision makers to rethink their strategies for teacher recruitment, appraisal, and supervision in the elementary public schools,
    • invites teachers to rethink their practices with their students in classes,
    • offers recommendations for future development plans to improve the quality of classroom environment in these schools,
    • opens a new path in educational research in the public sector of education and invites researchers to further investigate other aspects which might contribute to the classroom environment in the elementary public schools in Lebanon. It also invites researchers to examine other aspects which might account for the students’ feelings toward their public schools.
    • Thank you